The Cognitive Abilities Test fourth edition (CAT 4) is a type of aptitude assessment administered to children in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The CAT 4 Test is used to identify gifted children that would benefit from being placed into a gifted and talented program. Some schools use the CAT 4 test to simply identify the strengths and weaknesses in individual children. This test is only administered to children that are between the ages of 6 and 17. The CAT 4 test is designed to measure the cognitive abilities of young children through the use of arithmetical and reading comprehension questions. The CAT 4 Test can be administered either in-person on a piece of paper or on a computer-based version. The test will take approximately two hours to finish, and each section of the test will have a time limit between 8 and 10 minutes. It is important to note that in general, students will be allowed to choose the order in which they answer questions from a certain section, but they will not be able to pick and choose questions from different sections to answer.

CAT 4 Level A Test | CAT 4 Level D Test | CAT 4 Level E Test |

The CAT 4 Test is divided into four sections, including Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Nonverbal Reasoning, and Spatial Ability. Within each section there will be two additional subsections that include questions designed to conduct in-depth analysis on the specific topic. Parents should note that each subsection has a designated time limit that each section must be completed within.

**Verbal Analogies:**Verbal analogy questions include a 10-minute time limit and are divided into 24 questions. These questions will include analogies that look similar to “B to C : D to __.” B and C represent a pair of words that hold a specific relationship, and D represents a single word that holds the same relationship with one of the answer options.**Verbal Classification:**Verbal classification questions include an 8-minute time limit and are divided into 24 questions. These questions will include a display of three words that hold similar meanings. Students will be presented with several word options, and will be required to choose the one word that holds the same meaning as the first three words.

**Figure Matrices:**Figure matrix questions include a 10-minute time limit and are divided into 24 questions. These questions will include a matrix with 2×2 dimensions. The first row will have to shapes that are related to each other in some way. The second row will include one shape that will be related in the same way with one of the answer options.**Figure Classification:**Figure classification questions include a 10-minute time limit and are divided into 24 questions. These questions will include a display of three figures that hold similar patterns. Students will be presented with several figure options, and will be required to choose the one figure that holds the same pattern as the first three figures.

**Number Series:**Number series questions include an 8-minute time limit and are divided into 18 questions. These questions will include a series of numbers that are ordered based on a mathematical rule. Students will need to identify the mathematical rule in order to choose a single number from the answer choices that best completes the number series.**Number Analogies:**Number analogy questions include a 10-minute time limit and are divided into 18 questions. These questions will include analogies that look similar to “B to C : D to __.” B and C represent a pair of numbers that hold a specific mathematical relationship, and D represents a single number that holds the same relationship with one of the answer options.

**Figure Recognition:**Figure recognition questions include a 9-minute time limit and are divided into 18 questions. These questions will include a picture of a piece of paper that is first folded and then filled with several hole punches. Afterwards, students will need to figure out what they think that piece of paper would look like if it were to be unfolded, and then choose an answer that best represents their image.**Figure Analysis:**Figure analysis questions include a 9-minute time limit and are divided into 18 questions. These questions include a display of a single shape, followed by five other shapes. The original shape will match with one of the five other shapes, and students will need to choose the correct shape answer.

**Raw Score:**The CAT 4 Test’s overall score is first determined by calculating the raw score. This is accomplished by adding together the sum of correct answers and tallying it over the total number of answers.**Standard Age Score (SAS):**The overall score is then determined by normalizing and converting the raw score into the Standard Age Score. This is accomplished by comparing the raw scores between children of the same age nationwide.**National Percentile Rank (NPR):**Finally, the SAS result is converted into the National Percentile Rank. This is a percentage that shows how each child performed compared to other same-age children nationwide.**Stanine (ST):**The score report will also the Stanine score, shown as a general number between 1 and 9 that shows each child’s level of cognitive development. A Stanine score of 1 is considered to be extremely low, and a Stanine score of 9 is considered to be extremely high.

**Discern areas of strength and weakness.**To do this, first have your child take a practice exam in its entirety several times. Afterwards, look through the exam and figure out which sections your child struggles to answer questions correctly. Then, concentrate on any specific sections that your child struggles with. You can repeatedly have your child retake a specific section until they feel confident in answering questions. You should also sit down with your child and guide them through any areas that they struggle with.**Prepare your child for short time limits.**Each subsection on this test has a specific time limit. That means that your child needs to be able to answer a lot of questions in a short amount of time. Students will not be able to spend several minutes on a single question. During your preparation process, make sure your child pays attention to how much time they are spending on answering a single question. If they come across a question that they don’t immediately know the answer to, encourage them to quickly take a guess and move on.

Students that intend to score well on the CAT 4 Test will need to prepare a solid preparation plan. This study plan should include plenty of study guides and practice tests. Similar to other aptitude tests, the CAT 4 Test includes questions designed with reoccurring patterns and rules. It is important that children are able to quickly identify these common patterns, which are vital for scoring well on this exam. Practice exams allow children to repeatedly see patterns that are often found on the actual CAT 4 Test. Additionally, practice exams come with explanations. Explanations will explain why every single answer option from a question are either right or wrong. These explanations can come in handy on the actual exam. Moreover, the content found on this exam is unlike the material that is traditionally covered in school, which means the test format and content will be unfamiliar to your child. For this reason, it is imperative that your child become familiar with the testing content by preparing with online practice exams. Students that score well on the CAT 4 Test will most likely have prepared several weeks in advance with study guides, example questions, and practice exams.